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    #1

    His brother or sisters - are?

    I'm very much aware that in using Either...or/ Neither...nor, we always follow the number of the subject nearer to the verb.

    Then how about if we remove Either and Neither?

    His brother or sisters make...

    His sisters or brother makes...

    Or it'll still be singular either way because it is 'or' ?

    Thank you.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: His brother or sisters - are?

    It's a somewhat unlikely construction, in my opinion. I've tried writing down:

    His brother or his sisters make the tea every morning.
    His sisters or his brother makes the tea every morning.
    His sisters or his brother make the tea every morning.

    ... and honestly, they all look and sound so wrong and unnatural that I don't like any of them.

    I don't know who makes the tea every morning. I just know it's his brother or [one of] his sisters.

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    #3

    Re: His brother or sisters - are?

    Okay. So which shall I follow then? :)

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    #4

    Re: His brother or sisters - are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yura Reiri View Post
    Okay. So which shall I follow then? :)
    Do you have to use one of them?

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    #5

    Re: His brother or sisters - are?

    Err...that was actually one of the items in our Achievement test and I didn't know what the answer was.I was surprised to see it though because it had no Either with it.

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    #6

    Re: His brother or sisters - are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yura Reiri View Post
    Err...that was actually one of the items in our Achievement test and I didn't know what the answer was.I was surprised to see it though because it had no Either with it.
    If these were your only two choices:

    His brother or sisters make...
    His sisters or brother makes...

    ... then I really don't think there's a correct answer. If his brothers makes the tea then it's "makes" and if it's his sisters (the suggestion is that they do it together), then it's "make". I don't particularly like them even with "either", especially as there are at least three people mentioned who might be making whatever it is.

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